The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

In Supreme Court Fight, Code Words Abound

By Ben Pershing
Supreme Court campaigns are unlike most others in politics, in that nominees usually make a point of not saying what they really believe, and are applauded for it.

So one day after pro-abortion rights groups made it clear they had "concerns" about Sonia Sotomayor's views, the White House moved to reassure them -- sort of -- that she would be on the right side of the debate from their perspective. Of course, Sotomayor's public record on the issue is thin, and she and President Obama supposedly never discussed abortion. So Robert Gibbs didn't come right out and say yesterday that she supported Roe v. Wade. Instead the press secretary spoke of Obama being "comfortable with her interpretation of the Constitution." And we all know what that means, right? As Eric Idle once put it so eloquently, "a nod's as good as a wink to a blind bat."

Code words abound this morning, and so the delicate discussion of Sotomayor's "temperament" continues. She has "a blunt and even testy side," according to the New York Times, traits that surely no one on the Senate Judiciary Committee possesses. Her supporters wonder whether her "assertiveness" and "aggressiveness" would be an issue at all if she were a man. Casting those code words aside, her detractors go further, tagging her as "nasty," "angry" and a "terror on the bench." As for another label lobbed against Sotomayor -- "racist" -- John Cornyn is urging his party not to use it. (On a related note, Cornyn's home state of Texas has a large Hispanic population. But according to an interesting new item on FiveThirtyEight, the data shows "Hispanics were not a key component in Obama's win." Read the whole thing, as they say.)

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:10 AM ET on May 29, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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Previous: POTUS Events: Cyber Security | Next: Court Watch: The Princeton Years, PRLDEF, and Questions About Temperament

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Just cannot understand the level of blow-back coming from the GOP, or should I say from the 'titular' heads of the party.

Even more suprising hearing the words:
"assertiveness and aggressiveness" used to make Sotomayor appear as 'out of sorts' in her behavior.

But who wants a wall-flower as a Chief Justice anywhere? Really! If she were male would there even be a mention of the word assertive? Absolutely not!

Posted by: Victoria5 | May 30, 2009 3:52 AM



The indiscriminate, wholesale WARRANTLESS (all caps rant) implantation of covert GPS tracking devices on UNJUSTLY TARGETED citizens -- subjects of ideological or hate-motivated witch-hunts -- have turned the USA into a police state.

Want to covertly track a "suspect"? Obey the Constitution: Show probable cause and get a court warrant.

Your flippancy is exceeded only by your arrogant assumption that arbitrarily being labeled a "suspect" is justification for abandonment of the U.S. Constitution in favor of an American Gestapo.

Moderate your authoritarian tendencies. Read this:

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 29, 2009 3:09 PM

What exactly is Judicial Activism? Surely, its not Satomayor's opinion in Hayden v. Pataki :“[t]he duty of a judge is to follow the law, not to question its plain terms. I do not believe that Congress wishes us to disregard the plain language of any statute or to invent exceptions to the statutes it has created. . . . But even if Congress had doubts about the wisdom of subjecting ... laws to the results test of § 2, I trust that Congress would prefer to make any needed changes itself, rather than have courts do so for it.”

Any Questions?

As for the histrionics of Scrivener50 ALL CAPS rant, are you suggesting that fundamentally law enforcement doesn't have the authority to put a tail on a suspect? It seems to me that using gps technology is just keeping up with the times. Maybe, stick to landlines?

Posted by: jeffgilbert1 | May 29, 2009 2:13 PM



The questionable legality and constitutionality of covert, warrantless GPS tracking of unjustly targeted persons and their families FINALLY has broken through to the mainstream media:

This is the Achilles heel that can bring down the technological infrastructure of organized gang stalking and constitutionally suspect police procedures in conducting investigations of "innocent but targeted" individuals and their families.

Mainstream media: Please follow up on the Yahoo News story referenced above.

Civil libertarians: Urge lawmakers to pass a law that prevents the electronic tracking of any individual without an individual-specific (not general) court order -- no more arbitrary, wholesale electronic surveillance and no more covert implantation/activation of devices in vehicles, cell phones or personal property.

This is the issue that the public can understand. Once covert implantation of GPS devices -- or the use of an individual's cell phone as a GPS tracking device -- is definitively made illegal, any official who knowingly allows such surveillance would be an accomplice to a crime. This should be a felony and not a misdemeanor ("harassment," under the law, is a misdemeanor, which is why unjustly targeted American citizens should use the term "torture," or "psychological torture," for non-physical harassment.

Victims of the "extrajudicial targeting and punishment network" spawned or expanded under Bush-Cheney (and now enabled by the inaction of the Obama Administration):

Organize a mass demonstration demanding an end to "covert GPS stalking". Such a demonstration should be aimed at the ACLU -- a demand that these declared civil libertarians address the issue that enables organized stalking of unjustly targeted people and their families.

For more:

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 29, 2009 12:39 PM

"Latina woman racist" and "Hispanic KKK" are not coed words. The GOP and its conservative hierarchy have truly sunk to new lows in opposing our president...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 29, 2009 9:49 AM
There is no need for ocde words. This is not about Obama this is about Sotomayor's racist comments. Looks like you have the "progressive bigotry disease."

Posted by: Cryos | May 29, 2009 11:58 AM

Why is it a smart political move for Obama to use race as a factor in choosing the next SCOTUS judge? Shouldn't a talent for even handed justice be the first factor? Second should be an absolute ability not to place one's foot in their mouths. I do not think this woman is a bigot, but she is a racist.

Posted by: james48 | May 29, 2009 11:11 AM

Is racial identity for a judge a value added quality or a form of racism?


Posted by: usadblake | May 29, 2009 10:39 AM

It has been reported that the judge ruled, in an appellate court decision, that the Second Amendment applied only to restrictions by the federal government, and did not limit the states. Does she think that also applies to the other 9 of the Constitutional Amendments we call the Bill of Rights? Therefore, states can limit freedom of speech, establish a state church or end freedom of religion, etc. That would be a logical conclusion from her premise. This is the area the first intensive questions should probe.

Posted by: eagleEd | May 29, 2009 10:33 AM

"Latina woman racist" and "Hispanic KKK" are not coed words. The GOP and its conservative hierarchy have truly sunk to new lows in opposing our president...

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 29, 2009 9:49 AM

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